Wednesday, October 31, 2012

So What! Wednesday

Linking up with Shannon again from Life After I Dew for So What! Wednesday. 
This week I'm saying So what if...
~ I'm not really into Halloween.  I'm afraid of masks and most costumes, except the cute little kids, due to my fear it makes it difficult for me to enjoy trick-or-treating because I'm afraid someone is going to jump out and scare me.  I don't like to be scared and I really feel a rise in my blood pressure when around costumes.
~ because of said fear I made my husband take half a vacation day to come trick-or-treating with us so I have protection and company.
~ I've been sick for almost 2 weeks not with a double ear infection, sinus infection and now pink-eye. 
No big deal, I'm a Mom, no sick days allowed.  Feel bad for me.
~ I went to bed at 8:30 last night.  I'm sick and I was just so so tired and drained.  Good thing I did because I was up from 12:30 - 2am with the worst ear aches of my entire life.  Heading back to the Dr today.
~ I'm still drinking iced coffee. 
I like hot coffee but I just don't drink it fast enough and I don't like cold hot coffee.  Eww.
~ I think in "So What's" all morning every Wednesday... but end up forgetting most of what I'd thought of. 
I need to start writing it down.
That's all I'm saying So What! to today.
Happy Halloween.  (or not)
So What Wednesday

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Weekend Recap - on Tuesday

Due to Hurricane Sandy and a downed telephone pole with live wires,
my job was closed yesterday, hello surprise 3 day weekend! 
Today though, we're back to business as usual...
(I was really hoping for a 4 day weekend but who can complain?)
The hurricane did some damage to my local area but we were definitely spared the worst. 
Praying for those of you who were hit directly.  Stay safe.
This weekend our local zoo had a Trick-or-Treat event for kids.  They got to dress up, go to the zoo, see the animals and trick-or-treat all at the same time.  We met some friends of ours there and spent the day together.  I'm so grateful for these friends, we all have girls who are around the same age and they all go to the same dance class and have fun playing together. 
With the forecast of rain and Hurricane Sandy making her appearance, I'm so glad that we took advantage of this zoo day so Olivia didn't miss out on wearing her costume and participating in trick-or-treat!

Olivia with her friends P & A

Checking out the animals

We're hoping for a nice day tomorrow so we can attend the Trunk-or-Treat at our church. 
Happy Halloween!!!

Friday, October 26, 2012

Fab Friday

Today I'm linking up with Laura from Between the Lines for Fab Friday!  What a great way to end the week by reflecting on a few fabulous things that have happened recently.
This week was fabulous because...
~ we started a new bedtime routine for Olivia and it's working!  She is falling asleep easier and faster and I'm able to leave her room without her waking up like before. 
~ Halloween is almost here and Olivia's costume is adorable... I'm excited to take her to the Spooky Zoo this weekend where she can trick or treat through the zoo and see the animals at the same time. 
Let's pray Hurricane Sandy doesn't ruin Halloween for us!
~ I'm learning to be more humble and I'm trying to be a better wife.  It's so difficult to move away from what you know, for me that was being in control, having the final say and 'wearing the pants' in our relationship.  Learning Christian values and how to have a husband/wife relationship according to God's word is so so hard for me and I'm messing up all the time.  But, it's fabulous that I know that I'm messing up and that I ask for forgiveness and that I try harder next time.  Work in progress.
That's all my fabulousness for today!  Happy Weekend!
Between the Lines

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Sleep update - Night 1

Thank you for all of your awesome responses from yesterdays post!  I received a variety of comments with all different suggestions, which just goes to show you that no one thing will work for every child and it was a great reminder to stay open minded and try different things with Olivia if my original plan didn't work. 
All day yesterday I talked to Olivia about going to bed like a big girl.  I explained that Mommy wasn't going to be able to lay down with her but I'd sit in her room and she shouldn't be afraid.  During our conversations she did get a bit upset and cry at even the mention of going to sleep but I know it was just nerves from the stressful experience we'd had the past few nights. 
After dinner I gave her a bath, got her jammied up, read some books and gave her a drink and brushed her teeth all while still talking about going to bed like a big girl.  I knew she was tired and I didn't want to chance her getting overtired so at 7:30 we said our goodnights to everyone, gave hugs and kisses and went into her room.  We said our prayers and I had her get into bed herself.  I turned on her sound machine, sat beside the bed and turned off the light.  She did ask me once to lay down but I gently reminded her that she was going to bed like a big girl.  There were no tears shed, she turned over, got comfy and fell right to sleep.  I waited about 5 minutes and was able to get up off the floor and walk out of the room with no problems!  She woke up earlier than normal at 6:30 but that's simply because she went to sleep so early...and she was probably so much more rested since bedtime wasn't a screaming, crying battle.  Night #1 was a success.
My method for putting her to sleep will be to stick with not getting into bed with her but sitting by her bed and gradually moving closer and closer to the door, away from her bed.  I need her to be confident enough to go to sleep on her own.  I know she can do it. 
Now, let's all say a little prayer that this easy bedtime routine continues!  ......Amen.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

So What! Wednesday

I'm linking up with Shannon from "Life After I Dew" today for her So What! Wednesday series.  This week it's going to be a little different because I need some Mama advice so I'm incorporating my original blog into SWW style...  If you have advice, please, please share it!
So What ~ if bedtime with Olivia lately has reduced us both to tears for the past several nights.
So What ~ if my first mistake was never letting her fall asleep on her own as an infant.
So What ~ if my second mistake is never letting her cry...not talking cry it out, I just mean cry a little.
So What ~ if this is coming back to bite my in the behind.
So What ~ if I lay in bed with her (she's in a full size bed) to get her to fall asleep.
So What ~ if every damn time I tried to get up after she was asleep last night she woke up.
So What ~ if it took me 3 hours to get her to bed last night on her own.
So What ~ if I was crying out of sheer frustration during bedtime for the last 2 nights.
So What ~ if I lost my temper because she just wouldn't!go!to!sleep!
So What ~ if I really, really need some advice on how to get my now 2 year old go to sleep on her own., if you can offer me advice, please do.  I'm willing to try (almost) anything.  Bedtime has become dreadful and it shouldn't be this way.  I need to be able to put my daughter in her bed and have her fall asleep without screaming, crying, snotting etc. for hours.
So What Wednesday

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Bye Bye Binky.....maybe.

When Olivia was around 20 months old, my husband and I decided that it was time to take her binky away.  We prepared her all day by telling her to say "bye bye binky".  She did well with it, she understood that it was gone.  Come bedtime she asked for it a few times, cried a bit and then fell asleep.  Two days later she came down with a horrible virus and all she wanted was her binky.  I caved and gave it back to her which was a horrible idea.  She went back to wanting to carry them around with her all day long and I decided that she just wasn't ready to give it up yet. 
At her 2 year well baby visit her pediatrician suggested that we take it away for good. 
We followed the same method and prepared Olivia all day by saying "bye bye binky". 
Come bedtime it took her a little longer to fall asleep but I thought we were golden
....until midnight when she woke up. 
My husband and I got her back to sleep until 2am. when she woke up again.  and again.  and again. 
This went on for 4 days.  Sleepless nights and miserable days from being so tired.
She just couldn't stay asleep without her binky. 
So, we caved again and gave it back to her for bedtime only. 
Think what you will but everyone in our house needs their sleep.  Olivia was miserable because of not sleeping, she was acting out because she was overtired, I was so tired at work, had a headache for 4 days straight, my husband was exhausted etc etc etc.  If I've learned one thing being a parent it's that you truly have to do what's best for you and your family.  I honestly could care less if Olivia uses her bink to sleep at night.  I'll tell you that since the night I gave it back to her, she's fallen asleep faster and stayed asleep all night every night.  In the grand scheme of things, she is only 2 years old and she's still a baby.  She doesn't use the binky during the day and she talks more than any other 2 year old I know. 
Joe and I have just decided that taking away her binky isn't a battle we are ready to face right now.  Call me crazy but I think she looks so adorable with her binky in anyways.  I mean, look at this face!

Monday, October 22, 2012

I'm not lucky.

....I'm blessed
I get such a funny feeling when people call me lucky. 
I mean, I never felt this way before but now that I know Jesus, I do.
Today in particular His blessings have been abundant.  Two weeks ago, my husband was in a minor car accident, however, it wasnt his fault.  The insurance appraisal just went through and we received a check in the mail to fix the damage.  I called the body shop and explained that we may not fix the physical damage to the door of the car because we have other mechanical problems with the car that are more imporatnt for our family's safety and we cant afford to fix both.  The owner of the shop asked me what specific items needed to be fixed so I explained, tie rods, sway bar links and O2 sensor. 
Our previous estimate was around $400. 
Without skipping a beat, he said, "ok, no problem, we'll fix it all and incorpirate it into the appraisal price"
My daughters 2nd birthday is coming up and to coordinate with her Minnie Mouse party theme, we've been looking for an outfit with Minnie on it for her to wear.  We found a few but they were out of our price range.  Today, my husband went to the mall to look quickly and just hanging all alone on the end of a rack was the most adorable Minnie outfit in my daughters size and on clearance for 1/2 price! 
Sometimes the blessings are big and sometimes small - honestly, today I've experienced one of each and both were equally as exciting and helpful to us. 
Anytime I'm blessed by God, praises of thanks go up to Him
and I look for a way to bless someone around me.  Now, I need to find a way to pay it forward. 

Friday, October 19, 2012

Fab Friday

Linking up with Laura from Between the Lines for her Fab Friday series.
The Fab Friday link up is used to share fabulous things that
happened whenever - yesterday, last month, 2 minutes ago etc.... 
~Olivia's birthday was pretty fab if I do say so myself...  Check out her birthday re-cap.
~The fact that it's Friday is fabulous to me!  The weekend can't get here fast enough.
~Olivia and I have a playdate tonight with 2 of her ballet friends which means she gets to play and I get to spend time with adults and have conversation!
~Olivia woke up at 5am today, now that doesn't sound fabulous but I never get to see her before I leave for work so while she'll probably be cranky later, it was nice to get some extra kisses and hugs before I left.  She even sat on the counter in the bathroom while I was getting ready for work and "helped" me.
~I think it's fabulous that I've been blogging more regularly and I love it.  I'm recording memories and making some awesome blog friends.
Between the Lines

Thursday, October 18, 2012

A Minnie Mouse Party!

When I started planning Olivia's 2nd birthday party I knew right away that I would have to go with a Minnie Mouse theme since she loves her so much.  Olivia's excitement when she saw the final result after all the balloons and decorations were up didn't dissapoint and I knew that I made the right choice. 
The Minnie theme started when my awesome photog friend Jenn took Olivia's 2 year pictures
and I found the most adorable prop - Minnie ears. 
The pictures came out great, here is one of my favorites.

I used my other favorite picture for her invitations that I had custom made on Etsy by Maddie Rose Designs.  She was great to work with and the whole process was super easy.  She sent me an attached file, I sent the pictures to CVS and picked them up in an hour.  The only thing I had to buy separately was the envelopes. 

I kept the decorations pretty simple.  I made a pinterest inspired Minnie Mouse head picture banner and hung it on our dining room window.  It included a picture of Olivia the day she was born, a picture from her 1 year photo shoot and a bunch of my favorite pictures from her 2nd year.
I followed the theme of pink and black so we had tons of matching balloons and a couple store bought decorations here and there including a "happy birthday" banner, Minnie noise makers and a bunch of Minnie stuffed animals from Olivia's collection placed around the house. 
We used a pedal car that my dad, Olivia's Papa, bought for her
as an decoration with Minnie Mouse as the driver. 
It was adorable! 
I took a few pictures of Olivia in the car as well. 
She loved it! 

The party was filled with family and friends. 
It warmed my heart to be surrounded by people who love our girl so much. 
The day was spent playing and talking and catching up with family
we haven’t seen in a while.  We ate good food and yummy cake,
opened presents and sang "Happy Birthday!"
Olivia loved everyone and had a great time!  While we sang "Happy Birthday" Olivia was BEAMING with excitement and pride. 
She knew that it was for her and I couldn’t hold back the tears any longer. 
As I was kneeling next to my big girl smiling from ear to ear
I just started crying with such joy because she is an amazing little girl. 
She was just so proud and happy and excited!
Here are a few more pictures from the day.  I didn’t capture many because I was so focused on being present and in the moment and I didn’t want to be behind the camera.
...and last but not least, I want to remember all the awesome things about my girl at age 2...

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

So What! Wednesday

It's Wednesday again and that means So What! Wednesday with Shannon from Life After I Dew.
Here goes...
So what if Olivia's birthday party wasn't as "pinteresty" as I'd hoped.  I didn't get to complete as many crafty projects as I wanted to because planning a birthday party while working opposite shifts from your husband and dealing with a "terrible 2's toddler" can be challenging.  The party was awesome anyways!
 So what if Olivia's Halloween costume was $5 and I found it at a consignment shop. 
It's adorable, she loves it and it was a steal!
So what if I need fall shoes like yesterday, make that like 3 weeks ago.  I have big feet and can't find anything I love that fits well enough to buy. 
I hate shoe shopping.
So what if I feel like I cheated Olivia out of some toys for her birthday.  Anytime I was asked what she wanted/needed I said "fall or winter clothes" instead of toys.  Girlfriend has a ton of toys and really, she did need clothes and what better time to get them.  Kids clothes are expensive.
So what if I've been to church but haven't really been to church in about 6 weeks because we're trying to get Olivia used to staying in the nursery without freaking out so I've been at church just in the nursery the entire time while my husband goes to the service.  She's making progress, which is great, but I really miss the music (our church has awesome music) and the message.  Sunday keeps me grounded for the week. 
I've been listening online but it's just not the same.
So what if we said good-bye to Olivia's binky but gave it back to her?  More on that next week.  
That's all I've got for this week...
Go check out Shannon's blog and link up for her So What! Wednesday series. 
So What Wednesday

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Birth Story - Part 2

This post may not be especially interesting, it's more for my own documentation.
Posting this today since I haven't had a chance to upload all
of the pictures from Olivia's birthday party yet.
If you didn't read Part 1 check it out now. 
I shared the sentimental part of our birth story in Part 1 and now I'm going to share the moments in between. There are details that I want to remember forever, whether they're silly, embarrassing, special, stressful etc.  So here goes...
After being in the hospital for 2 days and having been bumped from the labor and delivery list twice because of emergencies, Joe and I were feeling a bit restless.  We walked, talked, watched TV, posted crazy pictures on facebook and most of all, just willed our little lady to make!some!progress!already!  Needless to say, it didn't happen. 
When we finally made it to the labor and delivery floor, we had a room with (dun dun dun) a broken TV.  Being a first timer, Joe and I weren't sure how long this labor was going to take and obviously my husband needed some entertainment so he called maintenance.  The maintenance guys must have been busy since Joe called at 7:30 AM but they didn't show til about 11:45 AM.  After receiving Pitocin earlier that morning and being in labor now for almost 5 hours, I was in no mood to have the TV repair men at the foot of my bed trying to fix the TV.  In between 8cm contractions (note: I didn't know I was already 8cm since I had no idea what labor should feel like) I had 2 young maintenance men trying to make conversation with me.  Joe was completely oblivious to the fact that I was in agony (no epidural) and was chit chatting away.  Once my amazing nurse came back into the room, she kicked those guys out in no time. 
We had no use for the TV, I was about to have this baby! 
In the moment, I was so frustrated about these guys being in the room while I'm trying to
breathe and focus and labor, but now, I'm glad to say that at almost 2 years later,
I can look back and smile. 
Not laugh, just smile.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
Immediately after Olivia was born and her little pink body was placed into my arms I had fleeting thoughts of every emotion possible!  I distinctly remembering her crying and crying (all newborns cry, duh!) but I remember thinking "Oh my gosh, what have I just done?"  Obviously that was just nerves talking, because I was in love! 
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
After labor and being transferred to our room for the next few days, I was getting situated trying to walk and get comfortable moving around.  If you've had children before, you know the ultimate "nurse test" is going to the bathroom.  The nurse came into the room, told me I needed to pee and then the IV could be taken out.  I agreed, went into the bathroom and much to my surprise, mid-stream in walks the nurse who kneels down in front of me to make sure everything is in working order....  let's just call that one embarrassing!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -  
 If the nurse walking in on me in the bathroom wasn't enough, let's just say that when you're newly post-partum and breastfeeding, everyone sees more of your body than you'd like.  Newspaper delivery men, hospital photographers, visitors, nurses, doctors, maintenance.... by day 3 you're used to it!
Bottom line, amidst the crazy moments, we're moments of absolute bliss.  Our daughter was finally here, we were no longer a couple but now a family of 3.  We wouldn't change any part of our story one bit.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Toddlers & Silence don't mix

This picture has been circulating the web lately and it couldn't be more true! 
When crafting was in full swing for Olivia's 2nd birthday party,
occasionally I needed more time than just after she goes to bed to get things done. 
As I'm wrapping silverware in coordinating pink and black napkins
to go with our Minnie theme I bribed Olivia with a coloring book and some
(thank God washable) markers. 
What was I thinking?  Markers!?!  Good God that was a mistake!
She was doing well, coloring away with the markers and naming off the colors to me, then she asked for some milk.  I left the room for approximately 3.2 seconds to fill her sippy cup and returned to this!
Yea, green and pink cheeks! 
Not exactly the coloring I had in mind. 
After I took some obligatory pictures, I grabbed the baby wipes
and attempted to scrub these (washable) marker drawings off my toddlers face
and it.didn't.budge!
Thank God for blue Dawn, that stuff removes anything! 
Washable my behind. 
Those markers (knock-off dollar store brand) went straight into the trash can!
I can't wait to share the details of Olivia's birthday party that took place over the weekend. 
Check back later this week!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Fab Fridays

Linking up with (another) Laura from Between the Lines for her Fab Fridays series.
She recently started this link up again and I love it.  What a great way to end the week on a high note!
Between the Lines

Here's my Fab Friday list....
~ Olivia's 2nd birthday party is tomorrow and I couldn't be more excited to see her excitement! 
~ This work week was short thanks to Columbus Day - Thanks Christopher Columbus...  I appreciate it.
~ My husbands work schedule has changed effective next week so he'll work 4 days on and have 3 days off.  Working opposite shifts for the past 2 years has gotten a bit old and stressful so having that one extra afternoon/night with him is special to me... and Olivia because she misses her Daddy!
~ I scored a couple of really cute fall/winter sweaters at a local consignment
shop really cheap - like $3.99 cheap!  Bargains make me happy.
~ I found Olivia's Halloween costume at the same consignment shop for $4.99! 
Talk about a deal, regular price for the costume is in the area of $50! 
I'll definitely link up for Fab Fridays again, it's refreshing to take a step back,
think about the past week and focus on the good instead of the stressful. 

Happy Weekend!  I'll be back Monday with all the fun details of Olivia's 2nd Birthday party!

Thursday, October 11, 2012

It sticks, she knows

Olivia put her baby doll on her bookshelf, walked away, turned around and ran up to her baby, picked her up and said "baby!  YaYa miss you, I work, I home now, love you baby!"
This, this just melted my heart. 
I say these very words to Olivia every day when I get home from work
after missing her like crazy for the 8 hours I'm away. 
She gets it. 
She knows why I'm not home and this means the world to me because I make a
big deal out of it when I get home to ensure that she knows she's loved, even when I'm not with her. 
It's hard juggling a full time job and home/family life. 
That's why I get to work every day between 5am and 6am. 
I'd rather lose sleep and work a few hours while Olivia's asleep which allows me
 to get home for 2am and have the entire afternoon with my girl. 
I'm so thankful that my boss is super flexible with my schedule and even more grateful
that working opposite shifts from my husband allows Olivia to stay home with one of us at all times.  
...but nothing beats knowing that my 2 year old understands the meaning behind what I have been saying every day when I get home and every morning when my husband sees her after working all night.  
She understands and can relate it to her world, with her baby, makes me proud. 
We're doing something right. 

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

So What! Wednesday

Once again I'm linking up with Shannon from "Life After I Dew" for So What! Wednesday...
So What Wednesday
Here goes -
~So what if I've been trying to make a blog button for a couple days now and cannot for the life of me figure it out.  Am I the only person who has a blog that can't do this?  (don't answer that, just help!!!) 
**UPDATE!  I DID IT!!!**
~So what if I've been reading back over this, this, this and this post and getting a bit teary eyed every time. 
I can't believe I have a 2 year old.
~So what if this is a short work week but I'm already willing it to be the weekend. 
I can't wait for Olivia's birthday party!  Can you say "Minnie Mouse Explosion?"
~So what if I'm still drinking iced coffee and wearing sandals with sweaters? 
I'm not ready to fully move into fall yet...(and I need new shoes!)
~So what if this is all I can muster up for today?
Now go check out Shannon and link up for this fun So What! Wednesday series.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Birthday weekend re-cap.

This past weekend my baby girl turned 2 and we had a blast!!!  All of our efforts paid off when we saw the sheer excitement on Olivia's face during so many special moments throughout the weekend.  Birthday's are a big deal to me and I like to make them extra special.  
...and the best part, the celebration isn't over yet,
her birthday party is this coming Saturday so my girl gets to have another
day of fun dedicated to her! 
(Planning her party for the following weekend as opposed to on her actual birthday was the best idea yet.  We spent family time together and did a bunch of fun things just for Olivia and next weekend we get to have more fun all over again!)
Saturday was her last day as a 1 year old.  We spent the day at a local festival and had a
ton of fun walking around and enjoying the crisp fall weather.  
Putting her to sleep that night was so bittersweet for me.  My little girl, growing up.  I lingered in her room a bit longer, gave her some extra hugs and kisses and snapped the last picture of her before she turned 2.

Sleeping sweetly - October 6, 2012.   Her last night as a 1 year old.
After Olivia was asleep my husband and I blew up 3 dozen pink balloons and filled her room with them for a morning surprise!  When she woke up Sunday morning she was so excited with the "bloons!"

I made her breakfast, her favorite, pancakes and bacon and we ate together as a family.  Olivia totally knew that it was her special day because she kept cheering "it's my bir-day! Hooray!"
After breakfast we opened presents. 
We got dressed and played for a while.
We bought her a few things but her favorite was this Melissa and Doug shape sorter puzzle set.
My husband and I decided to take her out to lunch at one of our favorite little diners where she proudly ordered a "hot go (dog) and fries".  She told everyone "it's my bir-day!" and enjoyed all the attention!

Acting silly at lunch!

After lunch it was time for apple picking and unfortunately it was also time mother nature decided to start raining!  So, we improvised and had a short trip to the apple orchard and pumpkin patch.  Olivia loved it just the same.  We bought a few huge apples and some little pumpkins that Olivia picked out because the other ones were "too heavy!!!"  Since the weather didn't cooperate, we're going back one afternoon this week to do the corn maze and wagon ride.
When we got home Olivia and I baked birthday chocolate chip cookies and enjoyed a couple of them warm, right out of the oven!
After dinner Olivia was pretty tired so we had a quick round of birthday cake,
sang "Happy Birthday" about 5 times, took a bath and she fell fast asleep! 
Olivia, I hope that you thoroughly enjoyed your birthday weekend!  Mommy and Daddy tried our best to make is super special and a ton of fun.  We love you more than words can express.  Happy 2nd birthday love!
(this week I'll share more about our plans for her birthday party this coming Saturday)
All pictures were previously shared on Instagram (my camera isnt working right, so sorry for the doubles)
Follow me on IG under username - Camarogirl819.
All pics from this weekend are #OliviaTurns2 and #HappyBirthdayOlivia